Hotel Cafe Royal

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Hotel Cafe Royal – Exterior Day

Hotel Café Royal is always one of the best places to stop at when in London. This summer, the property launches an exclusive pop-up in collaboration with London’s most famed department store, Harrods.

The Pompadour Ballroom, a beautifully restored room in the gilded style of Louis XVI, will be transformed into an extension of the Mezzah Lounge at Harrods. Inspired by the food and culture of the Middle East, this sensational space opens as the Diwania Lounge for the summer in London.

Reminiscent of French palaces belonging to the most prestigious royal families, this beautiful all-day lounge is adorned with luxurious chaises-longues, sumptuous sofas and embroidered cushions. Harrods Home adds statement pieces, making it an individual, stand-out space for invited guests and hotel residents.

With a selection of dishes created by the Head Chef of the Mezzah Lounge at Harrods, Hotel Café Royal’s Diwania Lounge serves traditional Middle Eastern dishes in a beautiful yet contemporary environment.

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Hotel Cafe Royal – Pompadour Ballroom – Lounge Set Up 2

The exceptional menu includes hot and cold meze, grilled chicken skewers, marinated lamb cutlets and tagine, as well as delicious delicacies like baklava and Turkish delight. These dishes are complimented by a selection of international dishes from the hotel’s own culinary team, under the guidance of Head Chef, Armand Sablon.

It is the best venue to enjoy cool summer evenings on the terrace, with panoramic views of Regents Street, one of London’s most famous landmarks. This exclusive terrace is an ideal place to enjoy mint tea and shisha, in the stunning setting of Mayfair’s historic buildings and elegant architecture.

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Hotel Cafe Royal – Dome Penthouse – Terrace at Dusk

Harrods will also present “Made With Love”, with a range of products showcasing the quality and craftsmanship behind Harrods’ most-loved brands. With a focus on the story behind the brand, these products are exclusive to Harrods, highlighting the provenance, history and artistry behind each remarkable piece.

With personalisation services such as engraving and monogramming available at Harrods throughout the summer, Made With Love showcases the excellence behind our top international brands.

This exceptional Middle Eastern lounge is available by confirmed reservation and invitation only or to guests of the hotel’s suites – from the beautifully detailed red and gilded Club Suite to the 500 sqm six bedroom Royal Wing. A visit is highly recommended.

Beautiful Belek – Turkey’s hidden gem

antalya-1Last month I ventured into Turkey and for a change, it was not to Istanbul or a city where I would take a bus or ferry to. It was a seamless connecting flight to Antalya. I was in a group and we stayed in Belek which is one of the centres of Turkey’s tourism industry and home to more than thirty four-star and five-star hotel. It is increasingly in the spotlight for being a beautiful resort town on the Turkish Riviera of Antalya, which is well known for its white-sand beaches surrounded by pine forests.

Exploring the old downtown area is a delight and testimony to Turkey’s traditional culture and charm; and in addition, one can make the most of amazing sights such as Duden Waterfall-Kapuzkaldiran, Mount Olympus and spectacular views over its natural, green landscape.

The history of Belek dates back to the 4th Century B.C. Over the ages, it has come under the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine as well as Seljuk influence, which has impacted the architecture and history of the place. When King Attalos II handed the territory over to the Romans in 133BC, the Roman influence became predominant and found expression in the architecture of large buildings, stadiums, gymnasiums, turrets and mosques– many theatres were also built during this period.

Retail therapy in Antalya was satisfying and rewarding. Antalya Downtown offers visitors the chance to spend the whole day wandering down the streets of the old downtown and experience the true culture of the area with all its local spices and traditional food. The old town is also the perfect opportunity for visitors to pick Turkish handicrafts and souvenirs for friends and family back home, in addition to delicious Turkish delights also make nice gifts. We bought lots of shoes and jewellery.

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Antalya Aquarium is a great place to visit, especially if you are with your family. As the world’s biggest tunnel aquarium with a length of 131 meters and a width of 3 meters, it offers visitors a journey with the most colourful, unusual and often deadly marine life. The aquarium also has multi-dimensional movie technology in its Oceanride XD Cinema, with its extraordinary features that are highly impressive.

If you are into sports and a fan of Golf in particular, Belek has 14 huge and beautiful golf courses. Designed by famous names like Feherty, and Montgomerie, these courses have given Turkey international golfing credibility, and have ensured that a golf holiday in Turkey is a once in a life time opportunity.

During our visit we met with Karnak Travel who mentioned that Mount Olympos is a must see for all tourists coming to Turkey. The mountain, which is roughly 15 km north of the city, Olympos offers a beautiful view of the whole town. Visitors can soak in the lush greenery of bay trees, and pines, while appreciating the importance of this historic landmark, which was once one of the members of the Lycian Federation in Lycian times.

The Belek town mosque is one of the town’s most historic landmarks. It is beautiful and relaxing, especially during the evening. Located in the centre of the town, the mosque stands alongside statues and a waterfall. All this, en route to lovely shops which can be found on the tree-lined boulevards of the town.

I loved the Duden Waterfalls as it is a sight worth seeing in the province of Antalya. The waterfalls, formed by the recycle station water, are located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north-east of Antalya. They end where the waters of the Lower Düden Falls drop off a rocky cliff directly into the Mediterranean Sea.

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Among the specialties in Belek, one can have a soup called kulakli whose ingredients are chickpeas and small pieces of diced meat; tahinli piyaz, which is a dried-bean salad seasoned with crushed sesame seeds; tandir kebap; kabak tatlisi (pumpkin desert) sweetened with crushed sesame seeds and grape syrup and bergamot jam.

 There are three modes of transportation inside Belek– city bus, metro or cab. They are all convenient. In Antalya in general, the public bus system is the best method of getting to most parts of the region. It is not necessary to rent a car or taxi. The public transportation options in Antalya are efficient, inexpensive and convenient for tourists trying to get to most of the major destinations and attractions. The dolmus (shared taxi service) is a perfectly legitimate and efficient mode of transportation and visitors are encouraged to try it.

Turkish Airlines offers international flights to Antalya with a one-stop flight in Istanbul or direct flights from Istanbul to Antalya for local flyers. As ‘Europe’s Best Airline,’ for the fifth year running at the Skytrax 2015 awards, Turkish Airlines continues to impress travellers with its award-winning service and unsurpassed country network. Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles loyalty programme rewards frequent flyers, Wingo promotions provide competitively priced tickets, and guests travelling business class can enjoy the recently enhanced luxury CIP lounge in Istanbul.

Fun in the Alps

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Zermatt is situated far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life at an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level. My favourite place in Zermatt is the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof.

Once you step into the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, hospitality and luxury takes on a whole new meaning. It is a hotel you want to spend time in, meet with other guests and enjoy a hot chocolate while gazing at the Matterhon.

Zermatt, dominated by the Matterhorn is a rare place where everything is in synergy. The historic village has oodles of charm and the high street is lined with luxury shopping, delicious restaurants and stylish bars.

And Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is where time means something different from what it means in the city. It is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

At Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, our readers can enjoy four overnight stays, including a generous breakfast buffet, for the price of three.

Included in the price of the 4=3 special is the transfer to and from the Zermatterhof and Zermatt station in a horse-drawn carriage or electric bus on the day of your arrival and departure.

Guests can enjoy a generous breakfast buffet, mineral water and soft drinks from the minibar, Ronnefeldt-Tea, Nespresso coffee machine with capsules, use of the spa, pool, steam bath, saunas, jacuzzi, ice grotto and gym and wireless Internet in the room and in all public areas.

For ski enthusiasts, there is no better place than Zermatt to enjoy the sport with untouched terrain and a helicopter to give you a lift there. Zermatt is the Alps’ largest heli-skiing destination and offers the best snow with the stunning beauty of the Alps.

 

 

A Tranquil Haven Corinthia Hotel London

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The Lobby Lounge Corinthia Hotel London

Corinthia Hotel London is rated amongst London’s finest 5-star luxury hotels. I stayed there a few days and loved the fact that the property combines traditional grandeur with modern freshness and the luxuriously redesigned Victorian destination is ideally located in the heart of London, a short walk from many of the city’s major attractions.

The primary reason I selected this property was to experience a day at ESPA Life at the Corinthia, which is a new generation of spa designed for those seeking an exclusive haven dedicated to relaxation, health and fitness.

Spread over four floors and covering 3,300 square metres in the heart of London, ESPA Life at Corinthia offers revolutionary lifestyle programmes, incorporating complementary and alternative medicine and targeted fitness and rehabilitation services that focus on sports training, detox, sleep, weight loss and general vitality.

After a rejuvenating facial and massage, I rested in a tranquil lounge. Trying out one of ESPA Life’s 17 oval treatment pods was the highlight. Each treatment uses the highly efficacious and natural ESPA product range and combines both new and indigenous techniques of the world’s most renowned therapies to deliver a unique treatment offering.

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ESPA Life Thermal Floor Pool, Corinthia Hotel London

An extensive thermal floor area provides a dedicated space in which guests can completely relax and unwind. Alongside a swimming pool, there is a vitality pool, glass amphitheatre sauna, steam room and heated marble loungers. ESPA Life at Corinthia is also a destination for grooming and fitness needs with a salon and a state-of-the-art gym.

The enormity and grandeur of the spa is simply breathtaking and after a relaxed time there, the best place to head for a meal is the Massimo Restaurant & Oyster, offering modern Italian cuisine, and the musically inspired Bassoon Bar.

The Northall restaurant, serves the best in British produce throughout the day and having breakfast there in the mornings every day was a delight. The new Garden Lounge offers all-day dining options in an al fresco David Collins Studio designed garden landscape.

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Housed within a Victorian building, Corinthia Hotel London features 294 rooms, including 40 suites and 7 penthouses, offering sweeping views across London’s most popular landmarks.

Cutting-edge technology in rooms was handy considering the beautiful ambience motivated me to write a few creative articles while staying there. The meeting rooms allow for recording, mixing and broadcasting from dedicated media rooms.

Corinthia London is a great place to stay in the heart of London and I particularly took advantage of its location to walk and watch popular theatre productions and spend quality time in the bookshops in between sampling lovely tea offerings at Fortnum & Masons.

It is a great point from where every part of London with attractions is within easy reach and the staff are helpful in terms of directing you to place that interest you most. It is definitely a spa destination I would go back to as well for rest and relaxation.

 

Fortress in the Clouds: Old World Charm of Hotel Waldhaus

The quaint village of Sils is highly recommended with a horse and carriage ride to the mountains, stopping at the charming Waldhaus Sils for tea

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Having traveled to over 250 towns and cities, I have seen many landscapes and loved many, but very left a lasting impression on me as Sils-Maria did, located about not far from St Moritz in the the Upper Engadine.

When in St. Moritz, a visit to the quaint village of Sils is highly recommended with a horse and carriage ride to the mountains, stopping at the charming Waldhaus Sils for tea.

After a lovely horse and carriage ride which can never be described in words because it was beyond breathtaking, I dropped in for a chat over an afternoon tea at the family owned grand hotel that has so much character and warmth, that it was named Swiss “Historic Hotel of the Year” in 2005 by ICOMOS Switzerland, the International Council on Monuments and Sites.

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The Hotel Waldhaus is grand, but relaxing and vibrantly alive while remaining comfortably old-fashioned behind the imposing facade – the soul of the hotel is reflected in the diverse people and generations who run the place with a passion I have not seen in a long time in the hotel industry.

The property is about seven miles from St. Moritz and has more than a100 year history, owned and managed by the same family since 1908. It combines 5-star comfort with the charm and spaciousness of an earlier era. The Arvenstube restaurant serves gourmet cuisine and features a romantic terrace in the park.

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From Dubai, you can take daily flights to Zurich on Swiss and a train/domestic flight to St. Moritz. There is a free transfer between the Waldhaus hotel and the St. Moritz train station. Transfers between the hotel and village can be arranged upon request.

Swiss International Airlines offer the best flight options. ‘SWISS Choice’ makes even travelling in SWISS Economy convenient, comfortable and enjoyable by adding a number of individual services to enhance the air travel experience.

Affordable Accommodation Premier Inn – Cambridge

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When going on road trip for over three weeks, travelers get a chance to try new kinds of accommodation, from five start resorts to hotels, bed and breakfasts, castles and caravans in the UK.

A few years ago I tried all types of accommodation but this year, I decided to aim mostly for chain hotels present across the country that provide comfortable and affordable place to rest your head after daily excursions.

I particularly enjoyed staying at the premiere Inn in Cambridge after a hectic day of the tour of the University town. The hotel chain is opening new hotels across the UK and beyond almost every week. From city centres to suburbs, sleepy villages to coastal resorts – wherever you need to rest your head, their fantastic warm welcome and Good Night Guarantee are never far away.

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After a day of touring and visiting colleges, I headed to Cambridge City East hotel, which is a perfect place to rest your head when visiting this internationally-renowned university city.

A guided tour is a great way to learn more about this beautiful city, which is steeped in rich cultural and academic history. Cambridge is a must for art lovers, with the Fitzwilliam Museum and Ruskin Gallery within walking distance of the hotel.

For an authentic Cambridge experience, you’ve to try punting on the river which I tried for an entire afternoon and loved every moment of it. After a busy day, heading back to the hotel and sinking my head into one of the hotel’s brand new, slumber-inducing, king-size Hypnos beds was total bliss.

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The new luxury kingsize** Hypnos bed is the stuff of dreams. Guests can drift off on an ultra-comfy, pillow-top mattress supported by over a thousand pocket springs for the soundest sleep ever.

Thyme, their in-house restaurant has a new contemporary British menu you’ll love. From gourmet burgers and steaks to our salads and delicious desserts, dishes are freshly prepared for you by chefs using quality ingredients from hand-picked suppliers. There’s a tasty kid’s menu too for little ones too…..this is a place I would highly recommend when visiting Cambridge.